By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News
The traffic from Washington Street can be heard rumbling by as Timber Roden, membership and communications director at the Mt. Pleasant Chamber Alliance takes a seat at her desk. After almost two months in the position, Roden still is excited about the challenges and professional development that lay ahead.
Roden, a native of the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., has been in the Mt. Pleasant area for nearly two years now; first with Innovairre as a human resource recruitment specialist and now with the chamber. ?I really appreciated my time at Innovairre because as a young professional it really did help develop me (and helped me learn) how to work with the public,? she said.
It?s a skill that came in handy in her new position. And something that drew her to the chamber. ?I enjoy meeting new people and I enjoy doing the events,? she said.
However, the decision to move from corporate to nonprofit life wasn?t an easy one. ?This is very important to me and something I really thought about,? she said. Roden knew now, while she was still young in her career, was the best time to test the waters and see what she excelled at. ?This is a really good opportunity for me to get my feet wet and see if this is something I might excel in and maybe want to make into a career.?
Roden said the Chamber Alliance staff and the community have been overwhelmingly welcoming as she transitions into this new role. ?Ever since the town found out I was moving into this new role, it?s been a powerful welcome,? she said. ?Everyone has been so kind and so excited to see me succeed and that?s just been awesome.?
Roden says seeing how much the town cares about its community members and its businesses inspires her to work even harder. ?It gives me a lot of motivation to come in and try to do the best I can in representing Mt. Pleasant.?
Small towns have always been close to Roden?s heart as that?s where she hails from. ?This is bigger than my hometown, but it does feel a lot like home,? she said. But there?s one striking difference ? the amount of care put into the downtown area. ?My hometown, the square wasn?t very active and a lot of the storefronts were closed. I was very sad about that,? she said. ?But when you come (to Mt. Pleasant) every store front is open and has a business; that?s very exciting to me.?
As the chamber?s membership director, Roden?s job is to make sure area businesses are taken care of and well promoted. ?We?re their advocate,? she said of Chamber member businesses. ?If someone is coming to town and needs to know the best restaurants in the downtown, we can list all of our members and suggest they try one of those restaurants.? The same can be said for new residents looking for employment.
Roden?s job isn?t just making recommendations, it?s also helping businesses network. ?I really do love our Alive After Five,? she said noting it?s a time when bankers, manufacturers and small business owners can all come together, get to know one another and become an additional resource for one another.
?I love seeing the community bond together,? she said. ?This is all still new to me, but I?m eager to dig in, do more and do whatever I can to make our businesses thrive.?